Front Row Magazine’s Peter Simek reviewed the River Why’s screening at the Dallas International film festival. Obviously he has never read the book, or he would have expected the “adolescent think-speak”. Not a positive review… see for yourself.
Speaking of internalized voices, The River Why (repeats Wednesday, April 14 at 7:30 p.m.), the second film in this year’s fest staring Dallas Rising Star Award Winner Amber Heard, spends most of its time in the head of 20-year-old Gus Orviston (Zach Gilford), a fly-fisherman extraordinaire who quits life and takes to the woods to live with his rods, river, and thoughts. Orviston’s brooding is the worst adolescent think-speak since Sean Penn’s adaptation of Into The Wild. He rambles on like a high school kid who read the Cliff’s Notes to Hermann Hesse’s Siddhartha, and it only gets worse when Gus meats the self proclaimed philosopher Titus (Dallas Roberts). The two engage in semi-Socratic dialogues over pool games in Portland. This inner enlightenment leads Gus where all leading movie men seek to go: into the pants of the hot, young co-star (Ms. Heard). The River Why plays with what could be an effective metaphor – fishing as a discipline that tethers and balances man with nature, and the fishing scenes do make you want get out and into the river. But the surrounding story just leaves you wondering why oh why oh why.